President Jacob Zuma Picture: Themba Hadebe/AP

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma was asked to step down by the African National Congress’s integrity commission, but he refused, saying only he could "stop the West from capturing the ANC", the City Press reported on Sunday.

This defence was outlined in a report, written by the commission and addressed to secretary general Gwede Mantashe, following meetings between Zuma and the commission in December and April, the newspaper reported.

The six-page report was signed by ANC stalwart and Rivonia Trialist Andrew Mlangeni in his capacity as the commission’s chairman.

It was dated May 21, a week before the last sitting of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) took place in which Zuma survived yet another attempt to have him removed through a proposal to table a motion of no confidence in him. This was the second such attempt in the space of seven months.

Following calls to the integrity commission for Zuma to be brought to book, he met its members and, according to the report, was said to have refused to resign, City Press reported.

“The president stated emphatically that he would not resign. He believed that to do so would be a betrayal of our people and of our revolution,” the report reads.

“The essence of the president’s refusal to resign is his belief that there exists a conspiracy by Western governments to oust him as president of the ANC and of the country. Their objective is to replace him in order to capture the ANC.”

The integrity commission rejected this explanation, saying it made light of the crisis in the governing party, City Press reported.

“The integrity commission does not agree with the president’s explanation. It does not accept the notion that opposition to the president can be attributed solely to a Western conspiracy. This explanation ignores the very real problems in the ANC, as evidenced by the rapid decline in support for the ANC,” the report reads.
African News Agency